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KRISTIN ADDINGTON CULPEPPER
WEAVE SUNSHINE PUBLISHING

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ABOUT

Kristin finds wonder and beauty in all  things-her greatest inspirations being her children, love of nature and music. Her passion for poetry had already begun by age two as she recited Mother Goose nursery rhymes and other beloved children's verses by heart. In fact, her childhood nickname was "Goose!" Regarding The Lonely Toadstool, she says, 
"One morning I awoke with two words fresh in my mind: mushroom and poem. I followed my intuition, and later that morning The Lonely Toadstool came to life." 

Connecting little ones and their big people with the magic of books and nature is one of her most profound joys, a natural result of the fifteen years she spent homeschooling her own children. Kristin makes her home in Cincinnati, Ohio where she lives with her family amidst dogs, cats, fish, turtles, a herd of guinea pigs, and a melange of furred, feathered, scaled and other forest friends. 

AUTHOR QUOTES

• "Don't settle for an average life when there's always a way into the sky if we keep our hearts open to it, believe it's forever there and have the courage to go towards it."

• "A world of magic, whimsy, wonder and wisdom awaits those who open all their senses. I know, because I've been there." 

• "Connecting little ones and their big people with the magic of books and nature is one of my most profound joys,  a natural result of the fifteen years I spent homeschooling my own children."

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Readers' Favorite Recipient

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Regardless of age, we all struggle at times with letting our real feelings and needs be heard. This is the message of The Lonely Toadstool, a story that empowers children to express themselves, knowing they are safe and will be surrounded with a caring community. When the lonely toadstool can no longer hold in his loneliness and despair, he "lets out a cry" and is surprised when the result is newfound friends and a welcome feeling of peace. Forest animals, a gnome, a fairy, insects and more, all creatures he thought were very different from him, hear his cry, and his anguish causes them to cease their activities and form a search party to help their neighbor in need. 

As if holding their hand in friendship, this enchanting poetic story gently encourages the reader to see the importance of letting their own emotions and needs be known and to experience the unexpected human joy of exchanging loneliness for love and acceptance. 

The Lonely Toadstool prompts organic discussions with children about: 

•    Using their voices to share feelings
•    Being vulnerable and asking for help
•    Receiving support from others
•    Empathy, inclusion and friendship
•    The power of kindness

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BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN

Behind the Book

•  When children practice sharing feelings, wants and needs, they learn to set healthy boundaries.
•   Children become better advocates for themselves and others.
•  They become more sensitive and empathetic.
•  Empowers children to be their authentic selves.
•   Encourages friendship and inclusion for all.

•   Grab your copy today to set your child on their path to growth, social emotional learning and self-advocacy.

of The Lonely Toadstool

VALUES

The Power and Freedom of 
Self-Advocacy by Connecting with and Sharing Your Emotions: 

We all struggle with letting our real feelings and needs be heard-our children are no different!

 

This story empowers children to express themselves, knowing they are safe and will be surrounded with a caring community.

 

Children will learn that it is safe to experience their full range of emotions and it is their responsibility to share them, especially when feeling depressed, alone, overwhelmed or anxious. 

The Beauty and Fortitude
of Friendship: 

As children give voice to their authentic feelings, support from family, friends and others in their community will rally around him, helping them to know and really feel that they are anything but all alone. They will witness these big changes which happily come blowing in for the toadstool who is lonely no more.

 

When children practice sharing feelings, wants and needs, they are actively learning to set healthy boundaries for themselves. These healthy boundaries in relationship with themselves and others are crucial if they are to mature into mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically balanced adults and world citizens. 

Empathy, lnclusivity and 
Social Emotional Awareness: 

This storybook is perfect for children beginning to make sense of who they are in the world.

 

Little ones will be reminded that when they speak their truth & lean on their loved ones, even their darkest days and gloomiest feelings can give way to joy.

 

As children watch the empathetic forest folk, who look and act different from the toadstool, caring about their neighbor enough to stop their own activities to help him, it will help them see a healthy response from community. 

The Magic and Power of 
Poetry and Lyrical Verse: 

As if holding their hand in friendship, this enchanting poetic story gently encourages the reader to see the importance of letting their own emotions and needs be known and to experience the unexpected human joy of exchanging loneliness for love and acceptance.

 

There is something special about rhythm and rhyme (such as that found in this book) that allows our whole beings to more deeply enter into the experience. It is much like the way music affects us. 

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TESTIMONIALS

A TRULY SWEET AND FOUNDATIONAL BOOK

"The heartfelt message of this inspired and instructive tale, is bound to resonate with parents, as they guide their children through the cycles, seasons, feelings, and emotions, around change, relationship, connection, and community. As a parent, my heart hurt, and leapt for joy, as the toadstool went along his journey without ever even moving. So much wisdom to share here, and discuss with our little ones! I appreciate the introduction of new words to connect with and explore, along with the experiences of being an individual learning how to be expressive and accept and receive support. This is a truly sweet and foundational book parents can enjoy as they guide their children in connecting more deeply to the inner and outer experiences of growing up and evolving. Bravo!" 

- Stace Rae, Healer, Mother, Entrepreneur

RESPECT FOR YOUNG HEARTS

"Kristin's poems are always respectful of children's experiences, their deep affections and fondest hopes, and she clearly knows and remembers how thrilling-difficult it is to be a little person in a very big world. She comes alongside young ones and invites them to grow upward without ever talking down to them. One of Kristin's most characteristic and lovely gifts." 

- Anne S., Author

CHARMING AND BEAUTIFUL BOOK

"This lovely book is so important for children and their families to read now, as many of us are reentering our communities and feeling the importance of human connection more than ever before. The author gives a beautiful parable to show how hard it can be to bear our burdens alone, and how simply surrounding ourselves with caring people can ease the weight and allow us to heal. Thank you for this gift of a book! Not only is it perfect for our world now, it's message is truly timeless." 

- Hazel J., Teacher, Artist, Homeschool Mother of 3

WE ARE ALWAYS IN COMMUNITY

"What a perfect message to the world as we cautiously venture out of a prolonged period of isolation. We are never truly alone, we are always part of community, we are all connected through the elements of nature. Beautifully written in lyrical prose and magically illustrated with the seen and unseen, this beautiful book tugs at the heartstrings of what we all know to be true but need to be reminded of. A must have addition to anyone's, young and old, inspirational library." 

- Kimella H., Grandmother, Author, Musician

NATURE SINGS

"Underlying this imaginative tale of a lonely toadstool is an important message of giving voice to one's feelings. Engaging illustrations extol the beauty of the forest, while rhyming text communicates the importance of friends coming to the aid of those feeling despondent and alone. Happily, all ends well for the little toadstool and its progeny. As a children's librarian and a grandmother, I look forward to sharing this book with others." 

- Carolyn H., Librarian, Grandmother

A VOICE AND PLATFORM FOR KIDS' EMOTIONS

"I loved how this book gives children a voice to their feelings as well as approval and acceptance of sharing with others of their inner thoughts." 

- Janice A., Special Education Para-Professional, Boys & Girls Club Leader, Grandmother

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Author Interview

Q&A

WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO WRITE THIS STORY?

"One morning I awoke with two words fresh in my mind: mushroom and poem. I followed my intuition, and later that morning The Lonely Toadstool came to life. This experience awoke in me the urgency to share with our children how powerful and light-hearted they inherently are. This power is activated and spread when they listen to, honor and act on their divine inner-wisdom, embracing and sharing their authentic selves with the world. We are each uniquely designed and together, each marching to the beat or our own drums, we weave a beautifully harmonious tapestry, creating a living salve that heals hearts, families, communities and the planet." 

DID YOU HAVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH IGNORING YOUR INTUITION OR NOT LIVING LIFE AS YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF?

"We all adopt ways of being and doing that are a result of our environment-societal and familial culture, and are not truly ours. The times in my life when I felt free, joyful, at peace, full of love and powerful were the times I was in touch with and acting on my intuition. The times I felt more heavy-hearted, frustrated, helpless and stuck were when I was not living as my authentic self. This is a life-changing tool to teach our children so they can walk in the light-heartedness, boldness and empathy with which they were born." 

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THE NEW BOOK? 

It is no coincidence that this was the first of over 40 poems for children and their "big people" birthed in the midst of the pandemic. The values in this story around authenticity, empathy, inclusion, community, support and self-love are of paramount importance as our children re-emerge, post-pandemic, out of their insular cocoons and into this wonderful, but sometimes scary and overwhelming world. Anxiety, depression, loneliness and suicide are very real for our children. The pressures of social media, not missing out, busy schedules, and bullying surround them on every side. May this book impart to our little ones how powerful they are when they become self-advocates, accept support from those around them and stand with those on the outskirts in their spheres of influence. 

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